Many believers, especially young people, struggle to know the will of God for their lives. But CT Townsend hasn’t doubted his call to ministry since he received it in his 20s.
He remembers the moment vividly. Townsend was pursuing a business degree at West Virginia State University when the Lord “wrecked his plans.” At that time, he was also working at a hotel in Charleston and would often pick up guests from the airport and drive them to the hotel.
It was during this season that he began feeling an inner nudge toward preaching. But was that really God’s plan? Growing up, Townsend had always said he would never be a preacher. Yet now, his inner conflict was prompting him to fast and pray, begging God for clarity.
“At that time, I was trying to make deals with God,” Townsend says. “I said, ‘If You’ll let an angel come down and tell me [Your will], I promise I won’t tell anyone.’”
Townsend laughs about his request now, but at that point in his life, he was desperate for a clear sign from the Lord. To his relief, God gave him exactly that—but He didn’t use an angelic appearance to do so.
“While I was driving to the airport, I was praying in the van all by myself, and I turned on the radio at 9 o’clock,” Townsend says. “I had no clue what would be on the channel, but a preacher named Lester Roloff came on and said, ‘Tonight, I’m going to be preaching on the subject of “God Needs a Few More Preachers.” There’s somebody out there in radio land who needs to know God has put a calling on your life.’”
That was all Townsend needed in order to know God had indeed called him to preaching and evangelism. And he’s never doubted his calling since. He now pastors Victory Baptist Church in North Augusta, South Carolina, while continuing to share the gospel around the country.
Practical Advice for Discerning God’s Will
Since receiving his call to ministry, Townsend has had one message that continually beats in his heart—Jesus. He loves to tell people about Christ as our salvation and source of joy.
In that mindset lies the ultimate answer to the question “How do I discern God’s will for my life?” While God does care about the specific details of our lives, goals, and work, loving and knowing Jesus will always be His will for His children. And as we draw closer to the Lord, Townsend says, we will better understand His specific will for our lives.
“I tell my kids and other people I minister to, ‘Just wait on the Lord. You don’t have to rush it,’” he says. “If you’re not sure about God’s will, submit yourself to God and stay in His Word. I tell people all the time that a man or woman who walks with God daily will not miss the will of God.”
For those struggling with patience as they wait on the Lord, Townsend points to a verse that has often encouraged him in difficult times: “But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31, ESV).
“These are absolute promises for when we get our hearts to a place where we’re just waiting on the Lord,” he says. “We must get back to knowing Jesus as our source of joy.”
Be Encouraged at the Ark Encounter
Want to hear more powerful sermons from CT Townsend? Come watch him preach live at the Ark Encounter August 22, 23, and 24 during the 40 Days & Nights of Gospel Music!
You’ll also watch live performances from talented Gospel artists like the Erwins, Gordon Mote, the Jordan Family Band, The Martins, and Josh & Ashley Franks.
Hosted by Answers in Genesis and Abraham Productions, the 40 Days & Nights of Gospel Music at the Ark Encounter will offer family-friendly fun and spiritual encouragement from August 2 through September 9. (Click here to see a full event schedule.)
Want to spend more than one day at this incredible event? You can enjoy unlimited visits with an adult or family annual pass!